|The villages of Paros
Parikia, also called Paros-Town, is the capital of the island and its main port. The town lies spread out in a bay on the West Coast. When you arrive with the ferry you are welcomed by a beautiful view - Parikia settled directly on the waterfront around the harbour (and its main centre and meeting point, the windmill), framed by high hills in the background.
Parikia's heart, the old quarter with its famous "Market Street", lies within an only one-minute walk from the port, behind the main square. You will find many interesting sites to visit in Parikia, for example the 13-th-Century Venetian Castle or the Ancient Cemetery. Roughly, you'll find most of the restaurants and bars down right along the seafront and the accommodations and beaches down left from the centre (talking as if you are facing the town).
Close to the harbour is the main bus station offering connections around the whole island. Nearby you will also find boat taxis to take you to the beaches opposite the harbour. Parikia is the biggest and most lively town, so if you like it smaller (shorter walking distances!) and quieter, choose to stay in one of the other pretty towns Paros has to offer.
Naoussa is a traditional fishing village in the north of the island, approx. 10 km away from Parikia, settled around a little hill in the Bay of Naoussa with a church at its peak. It is the second biggest & most important town after Parikia. Naoussa is said by many to be one of the most beautiful fishing ports in Greece, and it has kept its authentic character despite growing tourism.
Just sit peacefully in one of the many taverns around the port, enjoy the sun and some fresh fish with a little ouzo and watch the motion on the fishing boats - it's an experience you won't forget. Or have breakfast under the big Eucalyptus trees in the main square of Naoussa and watch the people pass by, later go for a stroll through the town (be sure you'll get lost!) and then take a little boat taxi to one of the marvellous beaches and chill out... And in the evening, enjoy the nightlife in a cosy little bar directly by the sea, with a view into the old harbour.
There are great and most popular beaches for all tastes in and around Naoussa ("Kolimbithres", "Monastiri Beach", "Santa Maria" e.g.). Some are long and wide, some are small and cozy and several have special activities to offer (for example Wind Surfing and Scuba Diving). Some are quiet and with very shallow water, ideal for families with young children, some offer concerts and beach parties and one allows nude bathing.
There is also a very good & frequent bus service so you can move back to Parikia easily or visit other parts of the island. During the high season, the busses even run all through the night!
Lefkes is the island's probably loveliest little town situated in the "mountains" in the middle of the island, approx. 12 kms away from Parikia, facing east with a beautiful view towards Naxos. It is an extremely quiet and remote place, and if you visit Paros, we say you haven't really seen Paros if you didn't go to Lefkes.
Just hop on the bus and go there for a daily trip. Lefkes is very green with a little forest above it. Go there and enjoy the traditional atmosphere of a magical Greek village, see the impressive cemetery that is still in use in a "secret garden" behind the cathedral "Agias Trias" and understand why this imposing town used to be the capital of a prosperous island. Enjoy the exquisite architecture (combining Cycladic and Venetian style), admire the little houses with entrances and windows you think are too small to be in use, with porches full of flowers and herbs, and wonder how the postman knows where to deliver the post!
Afterwards, visit a few of its traditional pottery shops or watch the Greek ladies weave, then have a Greek coffee in a hidden little cafe with homemade cake! You can't miss its charms. There is also a famous trail for walking, the "Byzantine Trail", a paved path that leads you through beautiful countryside within approx. an hour down to the village called Prodromos and then further down to the sea.
Pisso Livadi is a nice little town with a fishing port on the south-east of the Island, with some of Paros' most important beaches (e.g. "Golden Beach", "Pounda Beach") and the small and similar villages Logaras & Drios nearby.
Pisso Livadi is an important holiday resort approx. 25 km away from Parikia, with access to daily trip boats heading for Naxos, Delos, Mykonos, Santorini and Amorgos. Pisso Livadi, like Logaras, is also recommended for traditional Greek Cuisine - when you're there, enjoy a nice meal and admire the breath-taking view towards Naxos!
Aliki is similar to Pisso Livadi, a fishing port on the south-west coast of Paros, facing the little island Antiparos. Aliki is mostly known for the airport, which is further north and used by Olympic Airways and Hellenic Star for domestic flights. Chances are that it is the smallest airport you have ever seen - the planes Olympic Airways use have approx. 18 seats and are called "mosquitoes"!
Marpissa is a picturesque village upon a hill within approx. 20 km distance from Parikia, just above Pisso Livadi. It lies a couple of km off waterfront. Here you find beautiful alleys with tall trees, traditional Greek life (farms!) and not too many accommodations. Within walking distance, atop a hill, there is the 16th-century monastery "Moni Agiou Antoniou" (St. Antonios).
Prodromos lies within little distance north-west of Marpissa. It is on the road about 1/3 of the way to Lefkes. Marmara is similar and lies approx. north-east of Marpissa, as the third corner of a triangle, also a very small village and offshore. Ambelas is a very small fishing port on the north-east of the island approx. 7 km away from Naoussa.